Pectoriloquy |

Baby Waiting FREE TO VIEW

Christine Elizabeth Stewart-Nunez, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: The author writes, “Despite the successful pregnancy I experienced with my seven-year-old son, I had four subsequent miscarriages. Writing helps me make meaning from these events, and publishing my work helps break the silences around the taboo subjects of pregnancy loss and recurrent miscarriage. I am a writer, professor, and mother working in the north-central Great Plains. My current projects include a poetic sequence on Katharine of Aragon, a manuscript of ekphrasis (poetry from art), and essays on raising a child with a rare form of epilepsy, Landau Kleffner Syndrome.”

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.

Chest. 2014;145(1):182. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0947
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Published online

Slide into that sterile room where the chatty doctor
fumbles with the ultra-sound machine, its clanks
and beeps echoing. Look at my exposed belly. Watch
how I stare at the monitor’s motionless image, fold
my arms under my tender breasts. Think of the son
you have, you should tell me. Between full-throated
sobs, I whisk tissue after tissue from the box.
When the doctor leaves to give me time, touch
my shoulder. Reframe this quartet of loss. Say You’ll be fine.
You’ll close the factory and turn it into an amusement
park. Caress my hair like a lover would. Predict
I’ll understand slight-spoken grief: what slips
between women’s lips as they hug, hushed confessions
lodged in diaries, envelopes of silent prayer,
the glaze crossing a mother’s eyes when she sees
big families rough-housing at the playground. Look me
in the eyes. Whisper Someday you’ll call them babies.
Tell me. Tell me. I’ll believe.




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